Czech gas stores have risen to 90% of capacity, hitting European Union obligations ahead of plan, the Industry Ministry said on Friday.

The Czech Republic has weaned itself off Russian gas supplies since Moscow ordered the invasion of Ukraine early in 2022. After diversifying sources, the country started last year's heating season with full capacity.

The ministry said half of its supplies came via Norway in the first half of 2023, and the rest was split between LNG deliveries from Belgium and the Netherlands.

Storage stood at 3.12 billion cubic metres of natural gas by Friday, the ministry said.

The country needed to reach 90% of storage capacity by November, under European Union targets. Last year, Czech stores hit 90% of capacity in October.

(Reporting by Jason Hovet; editing by David Evans)